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The Most Incredible Survival Story of 2015



In what will be one of the most incredible stories of 2015, we hear a harrowing tale of survival of a young girl who miraculously survived a plane crash which killed her parents, sisters and cousin in Kentucky over the weekend. Not only did Sailor Gutzler survive the crash, she also walked in cold temperatures wearing one sock, a t-shirt, shorts and no coat almost an entire mile in order to find help. CNN reports on the journey,

On Friday, a Piper PA-34 that was carrying the family went down in western Kentucky. Even though the aircraft was upside down, Sailor managed to make it out and walk three-quarters of a mile in the dark through very rough terrain, across fallen trees and ditches. She navigated around creeks and over blackberry briars despite only wearing one sock, no coat and wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

She knocked on Larry Wilkins’ door.

“She said, ‘My mom and dad are dead. We had a plane crash. The plane was upside down.'”

Lenore Skenazy, author of the blog Free Range Kids, used this story in an interesting way to highlight why we should have more faith in our children’s ability to survive in the face of great hardship and everyday life,

This horrific story reminds us of what kids are capable of: Making decisions, being brave, striking out on their own, asking help from strangers…

Let’s remember this when we are trying to decide if a kid can spend an hour or two in the park down the street. Last year, a Reason/Rupe poll found that 68% of Americans don’t think it should even be LEGAL for a 9 year old to be at the park unsupervised. We are overestimating danger and, as we can see from Sailor’s story, seriously underestimating kids.

Does this story change your perception of what children are capable of?